Geographic patterns of mortality evolve over time. The changing map of mortality is influenced by such factors as regional population composition (race/ethnicity, age, and gender), regional political economy (e.g., income and education and forms of social capital). As these factors change over time, corresponding changes in mortality patterns will ensue. The interaction of these factures can be captured dynamically with time series maps.
In this section, the leading causes of death for the counties of North Carolina are depicted in seven 3-year snapshots for the twenty-one year period beginning in 1981 and ending in 2001. The full ranges of values over this period for each cause of death are used to create four equal count map classes. The upper and lower class boundaries for each of the four classes are held constant for each of the three-year snapshots. The changing choropleth map patterns are the result of counties "moving" in and out of each of the map classes over the course of time. Two sets of time series maps are presented in this section of the Atlas: age-adjusted and premature mortality.
The Center for Health Services Research and Development periodically provides internships for interested East Carolina University geography majors. Jessica Cain and Marc Crawford, under the direction of James Wilson, created all time-series maps for both types of rates during an internship for the spring of 2003.